The Metrobus O-Towns: 601-623
East Lancs Esteems for 181, 284:In 2002-3 Metrobus took to Scanias in a big way, with OmniDekka buses and long OmniCity single deckers. These OmniTown single-deckers followed in 2006. They shared the 10.6m Scania N94UB chassis with the OmniDekkas, simplifying maintenance. They had distinctive bodywork by East Lancs, the flared-front Esteem, a style which was shared later by a batch of MANs (701-705) and a batch of Dart SLFs (257-268).
The 23 OmniTowns were all allocated to Green Street Green (MB) for the 181 and 284 routes, from the tender win from Stagecoach in March 2006. Well, they should have been, but the depot was not large enough and had to be extended. So for a while (3 months) they were all outstationed at Polhill (PH).
622 passes Grove Park Bus Station in December 2009. Another stands in the bus station ready for another 181.
623 stands in Grove Park Bus Station in April 2006, ready for another 181 to Lewisham.
They rarely strayed from these two routes until March 2013, when the contract renewal for route 284 required EnviroDarts. Then one (615) was transferred to Croydon (C), and eight (616-623) went to Crawley for the 420. These were converted to single-doorway, with a rearrangement of seats, windows and floor-space. They were given Crawley "Fastway" livery of blue/pale blue. They also received electronic route displays. 618 suffered an electrical fire, and was replaced by 615 from Croydon. They did not stay restricted to the 420, and soon appeared on a variety of other Crawley (and Brighton) routes.
623 in single-dooway form and Crawley klivery and digital dispay, is at Redhill Bus Station on the 460/420 in September 2013.
601 deputises on the 126 in January 2017. Apparently it does not have the appropriate Bromley South destination blind, although it does have 126.
The remaining red buses were withdrawn in March and April 2018, and were then sold via Ensignbus.